When’s the Playdate? A New Gaming Machine That Fits in Your Pocket

Gaming is now an integral part of our society. Since the days of Atari Pong, gaming has only grown steadily more popular. Nowadays, the average gaming machine is exceedingly complex and innovative. Devices such as high-powered gaming PC systems, virtual reality headsets, and next-gen consoles are now in homes nearly everywhere.

However, many of us may fondly remember using handheld gaming devices in our childhood. That nostalgia has a powerful pull on the collective imagination.

Problem solved. The new Playdate, from Panic, is a new handheld gaming machine that will channel that nostalgia. Below, we’ll take a quick look at the new gaming machine that’s small enough to fit in your pocket.

Not “when” is the playdate…what is the Playdate?

The Playdate is a small, portable gaming device that can fit in your pocket. The device has a rectangular shape and features a bright yellow color.

The device features a sort of classic black-and-white reflective display screen. The display is surprisingly gorgeous and helps to further the device’s nostalgic appeal. When the console is switched off the screen will function as a clock, displaying the time.

Playdate devices come with their own unique games that can’t be found anywhere else.

The device features a directional pad and buttons as well as a small crank on the side that can unfold. The crank does not actually power or charge the device, but can instead provide functionality for certain games on the device. The Playdate also comes with WiFi functionality, Bluetooth, and even a small speaker attachment.

Original Games

As mentioned above, the Playdate comes with 24 original and unique games. However, these games don’t come with the console right away. Instead, users will receive two games each week after setting up their device for 12 weeks.

These games vary across styles and genres, but each is made specifically for the Playdate. With 24 different styles of gaming to try and experiment with, you are sure to find something you love.

Games can range from titles such as DemonQuest to a chess simulator. Each game is uniquely developed and has its own unique controls. Some of which even allows users to utilize the crank on the device to control aspects of the game. For example, the game Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure allows the user to wind the crank in either direction to move forward and backward in time.

Playdate continues to develop new games as well, promising new game releases to come soon.

If you or someone you know is interested in designing a game, Panic makes it relatively easy to do so. While it is unavailable currently, Panic plans to release its own SDK which will allow users to design their own games for free. Furthermore, if you are looking for a simpler option they will also be releasing a point and click design tool for the web browser. Designing a video game will be easier than ever before.

Who is Panic?

The developer of the Playdate, Panic, is a US-based software company. Headquartered in Oregon, Panic software studios began in 1999.

They originally worked primarily with Mac OS software, but recently have ventured into the gaming front. Their game, Untitled Goose Game, received massive praise from players and critics alike. For the release of the Playdate, Panic is partnering with Swedish electronics manufacturers,  Teenage Engineering.

Where can you buy the Playdate system? And how much does it cost?

Interested consumers can purchase the Playdate handheld gaming machine from the Playdate store. Users can put in a pre-order now at $179.

Coming with WiFi, Bluetooth, and other features, the Playdate is one of the cheapest gaming options available. With payment, users will get access to all 24 games, as well as access to whatever new games they release.

Customers can also pre-order a cover for their Playdate console for $29 which will help protect the device from damage.

Final Thoughts

With innovation at an all-time high, gadgets and devices are more complex than ever before. And most of the time we really enjoy having these new technological wonders.

However, sometimes it is nice to take a step backward. With the Playdate, users can bring back the nostalgic handheld gaming feeling of old. With a bright, colorful design, and a classic black and white screen display, the Playdate truly has a nostalgic look to it.

Combine that with modern features like WiFi and Bluetooth, and a completely original game library and it is easy to get excited about the Playdate.

Nobody is expecting this device to directly compete with the likes of Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo. However, at an affordable price of $179, the Playdate can offer a cool alternative for those who don’t want the complexity of some modern gaming systems. With a release sometime this year, we will be keeping our eye on the Playdate handheld gaming machine.

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